Category Archives: jeremiah wright

>OP ED: Obama is getting it right … and the left is feeling left out

>President-elect Barack Obama is off to a pretty good start. I know this – if for no other reason – because the so-called progressive (<– read that archliberal) radio gabbers are apoplectic. Just as the far right feared, the far left believed that Obama was a radical leftist who would initiate some sort of “age of socialism” by personal edict – a communist Camelot, if you will. The left wingers chose to forget that Obama (with Mayor Daley, left) was the product of old time corrupt Chicago politics. In doing so, they overlooked the fact that politically, the Democrat machine of his political upbringing is a bit right of center. Also, Obama and his people (the Chicago crowd) know that his legacy depends on being a centrist President. If he wants to be remembered for more than the first half black guy to work out of the Oval Office, he has to have accomplishments. Starting class warfare is not going to do the trick.

So, what has happened since Election Day that keeps my conservative anxiety in check?

First, his appointments have been pretty good … considering. Most of the Cabinet picks are moderates who have been hanging around Washington bars since the Clinton administration, waiting for the next meal ticket. Obama has won praise from such groups as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and televangelist Pat Robertson (right). Who would have thought?

His team of economic advisors, who will be the vanguard in setting down the economic recovery plan, are mostly free market guys. None have a history of supporting systemic socialism. America’s leading capitalist, Steve Forbes (left), gives the team pretty high marks. That’s good enough for me.

Obama has already let it be known that he will most likely not reverse the Bush temporary tax cuts as the progressives believed he would. They assumed that this was a slam dunk on day one. Instead, Obama has decided to allow those tax cuts to run their course. The left is clinging to a hope that when the cuts run out in 2010, Obama will let them die. I say … don’t be so sure.

The difference between his view and Bush’s view of the various corporate bailout schemes is negligible – though in this case, I think they are both wrong. Nonetheless, Obama is in the political mainstream of the moment on this.

Though he opposed getting into the Iraq war, Obama has proven himself to be quite malleable on the strategies to end it. He is not a cut and run appeasement guy. There is a general consensus that a phased pull out will occur. Bush, Obama and the Iraq government seem to be in general agreement on the timing.

On the other hand, Obama favors a kick-ass build up in Afghanistan. The fact that he is keeping both General David Patraeus and Defense Secretary Robert Gates in place seems to suggest that there will be no dramatic change in the conduct of the war on terrorism. Capturing or killing Osama bin Laden is a very high priority for the President-elect.

When not focusing on the economy and the war, Obama took time to assure the gun owners of America that he is “no enemy of the Second Amendment.” He stated his belief in the right of gun ownership with responsible regulation – a view closer to the National Rifle Association than the Brady Bunch (<– referring to the Jim Brady, who was wounded alongside President Reagan and whose wife is our nation’s number one gun grabber). I recall hearing the squeals of disbelief and disappointment on (hot) Air America when Obama joined John McCain for a polite debate hosted by conservative Pastor Rick Warren (seen being embraced by Obama — literally and figuratively), of the Saddleback mega church. Now … Obama has passed over all those other reverends in his past life, Wright, Jackson, Sharpton and Pfleger, to have Reverend Warren provide the historic invocation.

Because of Warren’s opposition to gay marriage, the gay rights leaders are all a twitter over his selection. They feel betrayed. Hellooooooo. While mostly avoiding the issue — but when pressed — Obama was squarely in the ranks of those opposing gay marriage. He is not likely to jump on board the stupid anti-gay marriage constitutional amendment, but he will not be out there pushing for gay weddings. Mostly he leaves that up to the several states – a good position constitutionally and politically.

Now, I am sure that Obama is going to give me a lot of reasons to toss a shoe or two in his direction over the course of the next four or eight years, but so far I am not even untying them.

>OBSERVATION: Black churches … for the love of God.

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As a one-time media advisor to the late Mayor Gene Sawyer and as a lover of Gospel music, I volunteered for a duty that others avoided. Sunday after Sunday, I joined the late Mayor in visiting black churches — hitting at least half dozen churches each Sabbath.

In the years since, I have occasionally attended African-American services with friends or been a visiting speaker. More often than not, my wife and young son would join me as the only white church mice to be found among the congregation.

When I traveled with Sawyer, I usually tried to stay inconspicuously in the rear of the church. I say “tried” because many times I was singled out by the preacher and invited to come to the alter to receive a “special” blessing. This usually was about the time for the offertory. I learned to come prepared with a dozen ten dollar bills to drop into the various collection plates.

In one case, my stash proved insufficient. As soon as I dropped a ten dollar donation into the basket, the pastor peered longingly over his glasses into my wallet. With each new Hamilton dropped into the basket I got a hardier “thank you, brother” until he was satisfied that I had tithed appropriately – at about the fifty dollar mark, as I recall.

These experiences in dozens of black churches cause me to now wonder. Were did the Jeremiah Wrights and Michael Pflegers come from? When did the angry racist homilies infect the body of Christ?
Though it was sometimes costly to the pocket book, I cannot recall a time that I did not enjoy and feel uplifted by my attendance. In every black church I attended, I felt the most gracious and loving welcome. My family was made to feel like the most special of guests — not part of some white oppressors. There was a perceptible outpouring of energetic love throughout the congregation. You could feel it in the music, the sermons and the interaction of the people. I never felt uncomfortable. Of course, I never visited Trinity or St. Sabina.
With all the press attention paid to the divisive screeds of Wright, Pfleger and a few other publicity seeking reverends, I hope the public in general will not assume that they represent all the black pastors.

>CORRECTION: Obama … a man of letters

>My! My! My! It does not pay to be too academic in the middle of a highly charged presidential contest. A friend said he was surprised to see me – a most tolerant fellow — call Barack Obama a Communist. Well, I didn’t. Okay, I did … but I didn’t. Let me explain.

In a previous blog, I did imply that Barack Obama had communist instincts. My reference is to the small “c” variety — a person who believes in a controlled economy and government interventionalism in attempting to guarantee economic and social equity. Mine is the academic reference. It defines a form of socialism.

I am NOT suggesting that Obama is a capital “C” Communist in the traditional of the Cold War definition – a subversive agent of some adversarial Communist nation. Not at all my intent.

While communists and Communists lay claim to the same philosophy, they are not necessarily the same people. In fact, the big “C” Communists have never lived up to the small “c” communist doctrines and philosophies as offered up by Karl Marx and others. Karl was a lower case communist, who got a lot of lip service from the upper case crowd.

One might argue that Obama is more of a little “c” communist than even the old style big “C” Communists. In fact, in Russia and China today, the upper case Communists still rule but lower case communism is as dead as the proverbial door nail. So, while Obama talks the talk – small “c” variety — I suspect if he becomes President, he will not walk the walk. At least I hope not.

So … I want to make it very clear that I do not think Obama is one of those big “C” commies who were plotting – and probably still are – the downfall of America. He is no more an upper case Communist than he is an upper case Muslim. I know from Pastor Jeremiah Wright that Obama is a capital “C” Christian even if he has been a long standing member of a small “c” church that functions more like a little “c” cult. You know … that racist black liberation theology stuff.

I just think Obama may be too influenced by all three of the little c’s — communist, church and cult — to make me feel good about him leading our nation as a capital “C” Commander-in-Chief.

My concern about Obama is heightened as we move down the alphabet. While there is no doubt that he is an elitist upper case “D” Democrat, I fear he is not at all a common lower case “d” democrat. He comes from Chicago and there are no little “d” democrats to be found among the big “D” Democrats who rule of the one party Windy City machine like the big “C” Communists rule over China. Furthermore, most communists – whether little “c” or big “C” are way not small “d” democrats.

So … these are a few of the reasons why I hope and pray that Obama does not take up residency in … you know … D.C.

I hope this clears things up.

>OBSERVATION: Time to muddy up this campaign

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Hold on to your seats, ladies and gentlemen. The 2008 Presidential Campaign Roller Coaster is about to get wild.

As we head into the last weeks of this historic and close election, you can bet that both campaigns will play pretty rough – while pointing the finger of blame at the other side. Self-serving claims to the contrary, both candidates have slung some mud and volleyed a few hand grenades at the opponent. Still, that was mild stuff compared to the bombardment of negative campaign ads about to pop up on your television screen – not to mention inundating radio and the Internet.

Personally, I like negative ads. They are among the most cleaver, the funniest and in many ways, the most revealing of underlying truths. Oh! I know. We’re not supposed to like them. We’re supposed to be offended. Folks … that’s all pretense. We all love them. If so many of you were truly repulsed by those ads, they would not be effective.

The best of them will not come from the campaigns directly – in order preserve their official “above it” claims. They will come from the various and sundry issue committees and independent political operations. But … it is still all part of the campaign strategies.

While Barack Obama will be respectful of you will see an unusual negative attention focused on John McCain’s pick for veep. McCain’s age, health and mental stability will be distorted to scare the hell out of the electorate. He will be portrayed in Halloween-esque ads as either feeble or deranged – or both.

If you think Obama’s friends, such as William Ayers, Jeremiah Wright, Franklin Raines, Tony Rezko, are old news, just wait. I expect to hear a lot more about Obama’s family ties – his America loathing mother, his impoverished brother, and his Muslim dad.

Those negative ads in the past were just test sample, we are about to get on to the real thing. And just remember, while the pseudo sophisticated are feigning chagrin, I will be loving ever one of them.

BRING ON THE MUD, AND LET THE PRESIDENTIAL WRESTLING BEGIN!!!

>OBSERVATION: Maybe we should be scared

>To innoculate against future GOP attacks, the Barack Obama campaign and its minions on the progressive left are forwarning against the use of scare tactics. I suppose, saying that the country will be harmed irreparably, social securty will evaporate, and you will lose you jobs and your homes if John McCain is elected is NOT a scare tactic? Puleeeeez! It is nothing more than a case of the pot calling the kettle black. (<–Some how that expression takes on a little different meaning this season. Maybe is is some of that "code" language the paranoid left hears in evey utterance.) Don't buy into scare tactics, they tell us, but maybe we should be scared. As I got to thinking about the forces that have been the booster rockets of the Obama campaign, there are four — and they bother me a lot.

First is the corrupt Democrat machine of Chicago. There is nothing in Obama’s past that would support his newly created image as a man above partisan politics — a reformer. In fact, he is a strident partisan with deep loyalty to the political gang who launched his career in the Land of Lincoln. He has been supported and tutored by some of the most ruthless and brittle Democrat partisan in the nation, not the least of which are Mayor Richard Daley (left), Governor Rod Blagojevich, Senator Dick Durbin, Congressman Rahm Emanuel, Congresswomen Jan Schankowski and Illinois Senate President Emil Jones.

Second, he comes from the radical left school where racist black liberation theology, as espoused by his friend and pastor, Jeremiah Wright (lower left), is considered a legitimate religion, and his tactical political views are influenced by his admiring friendship with deadly terrorists such as William Ayers and his wife, Bernadette Dorhn (left).

Third, the mission to take over the White House by the radical left is being funded by an obsessed billionaire, George Soros (right). This is a man determined, and willing to use billions of dollars of his own money (and billions more of his friend’s money) to impose a regime that otherwise would have little popular appeal. Never in the histroy of this nation, has one man had the resources, and the lust, to impose a personal President. Without George Soros, the radical progressive movement in America would exist only on the fringe, where they belong.

Lastly, as the first African American candidate (sort of), Obama benefits from black racism (some say reverse racism). He will carry the votes of more than 90 percent of the self identified black voters, even though his views on guns, abortion and school choice — just to name a few — are counter to the cultural values in the community. Issues and what is good for America are beyond any consideration — trumped by skin color. The plea of Whitney Young, who said people should be judged “not on the color of their skin, but the content of their character,” is being ignored. Whether successful or not, Obama will leave America more divided than he found it.

For each of these constitutencies, Obama is the perfect candidate — a brutally partisan black elitist leftist. But he has an overarching quality that is rare among the extreme left. He is a charmer. Most of his ilk are snarling pit bulls without lipstick. They generally lack the boyish charm and charisma that Obama exudes.

We are always on guard against the wolf in sheep skin. Maybe we have been fooled a bit because we did not anticipate that the disguise would be the skin of a black sheep.

>REACT: Father Pfleger finally flubs (see videos here)

>They applauded and cheered as Father Michael Pfleger, pastor the St. Sabina Roman Catholic Church, whooped it up as the visiting sermonizer at Trinity United Church of Christ – the one-time home of the racist Pastor Jeremiah Wright and long-time congregant Barak Obama. You would have thought they had learned a lesson about spewing hatred from the pulpit by now. But noooooooo!

Thanks to modern techonology and You Tube, the words of Father Pfleger are no longer just repeated but are available for all to hear. His message of anger and hate is no longer limited to the confines of the black church. You can see both his improper and illegal attack on Hillary Clinton — and his admission that he is causing trouble. The “man of God” knows he is sinning.

Because Father Plfeger is a raging left winger – more interested in a political platform than the pulpit — he has been allowed to be outrageous for years without much criticism from the fawning press. In fact, even the unavoidable criticism of his latest over-the-top stunt is tempered by the media with countervailing reporting on all the alleged good he has done through his ministry.

Methinks that he would not even now be criticized if his racist character and inappropriate comments had not turned out to be detrimental to the most important liberal sacred cow of the day, Barak Obama. This is the same song sheet the media choir have used in the past for Pastor Wright, Jesse “Hymie Town” Jackson, Al Sharpton and the rest of the racist reverends who play partisan politics from the pulpit – flagrantly violating the laws that affords them taxpayer subsidies. You and I pay for the venomous attacks on the non-black communities.

It is reported that Francis Cardinal George (left) has had enough of the bad boy Father Pfleger. I certainly hope so. He should be summarily booted … defrocked … excommunicated. He is the secular wolf lurking beneath the lamb (of God) skin.

Oh sure, Pfleger has apologized – said he is sorry if his brutal, sleazy racist mocking of Hillary Clinton and all non-black people offended her … and all non-black people. If course it offended her, and most likely a lot of us non-black people. It was ugly and vicious. It was about as unChristian as you can get short of bodily harm. It offended anyone with fair judgment and honest heart. I am convinced that Pfleger apologized only when it became obvious that his partisan verbal slashing was going to backlash on his beloved Obama. When has he ever apologized in the past for his bombastic attacks on white people?

The performance on the stage at Trinity was not an exception, but the norm for Father Pfleger. For those who are familiar with Pfleger, his history of radical extremism and abuse of his pulpit privileges are historic and pervasive. Though white, he is a promoter of black liberation theology, often a theological euphemism for racial hatred in the name of God. He uses the same sort of religious contortions that had those long-ago southern white pastors (and a few still hanging around) denouncing the God-given humanity of blacks – using the burning symbol of a loving Christ to convey fear and hatred.

To add a weirdness to his viewpoints, Pfleger takes pride in mimicking the extreme edge of the flamboyant style of black ministers. His imitation is so complete, it borders on psychotic. He channels the most radical black preachers. Pfleger’s black “act” is so out of context with his white boyish looks and carefully coifed blond hair that unless you listen to the scurrilous content of his homilies you might think it a Saturday Night Live skit.

In his ethnic self hatred, Pfleger allies in common cause and friendship with the likes of Louis Farrakhan (left). Like Jeremiah Wright, Pfleger embraces and promotes the misguided Muslim minister. Instead of repudiating Farrakhan, Pfleger praises him and invites him to desecrate the sanctuary of St. Sabina’s with his racist rhetoric. Pfleger finds it impossible to call out anyone who speaks ill of the white community.

I am also more than a little bothered by the reaction of the congregation at Trinity. The congregation’s chortles, guffaws and amens to Pfleger’s message of racial animosity were almost as offensive as the Muslims dancing in the streets as the New York Trade Towers crumbled. After years of Pastor Wright, it would appear that those in the pews have been so drawn to, or indoctrinated by, the extreme preaching of racial victimization at the hands of the evil white majority that they cannot see the wrongness of Wright and Pfleger. It is chilling to think that until recent days the potential President of the United States was among them in holy communion.

What seems to bridge racial lines, however, are the many infamous ministers in America — black, white, Christian, Muslim, Jew – who seem to be the most out of touch with a loving God. Preachers of this ilk seem to find large congregations who prefer to have their prejudices comforted rather than challenged.

I am not sure how much harm Pfleger does to Obama. The candidate does not have the two-decade intimate relationship with Pfleger the he once claimed to have “treasured” with Pastor Wright. He did not spend Sunday after Sunday at the foot of Pfleger’s pulpit. On the other hand, they have been close friends and comrades-in-arms since Obama first appeared on the civic/political scene. Pfleger has been a donor to Obama campaigns. Until recently (post Wright flare up), he served as an official advisor to the campaign. He can be listed, along with Bill Ayers and Tony Rezko, as another close and influential friend who has become radio active — who raises legitimate concern about Obama’s friendships of choice.

There are a goodly number of godly black ministers, and Martin Luther King can be looked at as the role model. King preached consistently and forcefully against racial prejudice and hatred. He never found it necessary to seek justice through retribution. He never proposed inverting the scales of justice to compensate for past inequities. He never demanded special treatment as compensation for past injustice. He sought mutual respect and equality. He envisioned a true post racial world in which the color of a person’s skin was irrelevant.

Credit where credit is due. Thanks to Obama, the issue of black racism and the historic politicization of the black churches has been drawn into the sunlight of public scrutiny. If there is to be a national discord on racism, this is not a bad place to start. Black racism is no longer the protectorate of political correctness. Amen, brother!

>OP ED: Putting on Ayers

>He was among the chief architects of what was known as the “days of rage.” He organized bomb squads that damaged university buildings, the pentagon and the U.S. Capitol building. His schemes of violence inadvertently blew up three of his amateur bomb-building compatriots — including his own paramour. He, along with his criminal cohort-cum-wife, Bernadette Dohrn, went on the lam for more than a decade. He narrowly avoided prison due to technicial screw-ups by the feds. She served time.

In short, he was the guy who put the “rage” in those “days of …”

Today, he is a “respected” professor at the University of Illinois, and his convicted felon wife similarly at Northwestern. He is on the board of civic organizations. He is a national leader in his profession. He has been a valued advisor to the Chicago Mayor Richard Daley. He is a prominent member of the social elite of the city. He is a friend, colleague and informal advisor to president wannabe Barack Obama.

This sounds like a story of conversion — how a misspent youth was rehabilitated. There is only one problem. Such stories usually converge on a point of repentance – recognition of a wayward past as one embarks on the road of righteousness.

Not so in the case of Bill Ayers.

The one-time leader of the notorious and violent Weather Underground regrets nothing of his past. “I don’t regret setting bombs. I feel we didn’t do enough.” In challenges to his extremism, Ayers retorts. “We were not extreme enough.”

He was recently elected as Vice President of the American Educational Research Association, where he advances a liberal activist education curriculum for our nation;s K-12 students. He makes no pretense regarding his desire to use the public education system as a means to foment radical action against the American free-enterprise, capitalist system. Like all elite totalitarians, Ayers subverts true civic education for philosophic indoctrination. In one course syllibus he admonishes, “Be a teacher capable of hope and struggle, outrage and action, a teacher teaching for social justice and liberation.” On the surface, who can be against social justice and liberation? However, when you get to the details, these are Ayers’ buzz words for radical and even violent civil action. He hopes to build a new generation of Weather Underground recruits.

The fact that Ayers and wife hold jobs (her a convicted felon teaching law) shaping the minds of future generation, and is “highly regarded’ in elite social and political circles, is a testimony to the connections of his wealthy upbringing, the extreme liberal bent of academia and a political correct mentality that relinquishes accountability for the misdeeds and misconduct of anyone left of center — no matter how far left.

Mayor Daley says Ayers’ personal days of rage were 40 years ago. “That was then. This is now,” he bellows. In rejecting any degree of regret and remorse, and even wishing he had been even more radical and extreme, Ayers merges the then with the now.

Should America be concerned that Obama considers his Chicago neighbor a friend and confidante? Is Hillary Clinton grasping at desperate straws in hanging Ayers around the neck of Obama like a rotting albatross?

Perhaps. Perhaps not.

Were the friendship the casual cordiality of coincidental neighbors, the concern might be exaggerated. However, Ayers provided more to Obama than over-the-fence conversation. They were close friends over a significant number of years, with the older and wiser Ayers counseling the younger and impressionable Obama. They shared leadership positions in civic enterprises. Ayers donated to Obama political campaign. Ayers hosted events for Obama in his home. Like Reverend Jeremiah Wright and Tony Rezko, Ayers was one of those close enough to influence Obama’s view of the world. Indeed, many of Obama’s more extreme views (which have never been fully vetted by the press) parallel the extremism of people like Wright and Ayers.

They say a man is known by his friends. If there is any truth to that, Ayers is only the latest person from Obama’s formative past to bring controversy. Standing alone, any one of these individuals might be excused as the exceptional bad apple. Combined, there is a critical mass of old relationships that raise legitimate questions regarding Obama’s character, philosophy, opinions and, above all, good judgment. How many times can Obama say of a long-standing friend, “I reject what he said, did or stands for, but he is still my friend.”

>REACT: Obama gets stoned in key state

>Barack Obama took a drubbing in the Keystone State of Pennsylvania. Of course, they peddle the “we closed the gap” spin. What else can they say? The Obamacans cleverly set a very low pre-election standard of victory. “If we can keep Clinton to a single digit victory, we win,” they proffer. Well, they didn’t. Even with a phenomenal 92 percent of the black vote, obama got creamed in almost landslide proportions.

Obama spin may make make good fodder for the fawning press and general public, but it will not wash with the party pros – right now known as super delegates.

It should be kept in mind that Clinton’s victory comes to a candidate thought to be on the ropes. Despite recent calls for her to step aside, she continues to prove that he opponent is not a comfortable choice among even Democrat voters.

Obama actually did better with white voters in the early primaries. Once he found it necessary to increase his percentages in the African American community by advancing the “us” concept, he naturally created a “them.” It appears that a lot of “them” have abandoned Obama.

As we have stated before, Obama wins, or comes close, mostly because of the extraordinary support of the black community AND the high percentage of black voters in those Democrat primaries. Is you apply the same racial statistical break down to the likely voters in the General Election, Obama gets swamped. He only carries Washington, D.C. for sure. That is the reality faced by the super delegates as this contest heads into the convention.

Obama may have looked like the African-American version of the White Knight early on, but more recent revelations have obviously turned away voters. As the theory goes, if the early voters had known about some of his positions, his more recent Afro-centric outreach, Pastor Jeremiah Wright, the Tony Rezko trial and Bill Ayers, Obama may not have done so well. Maybe he would have floundered early on. This is what the super delegates have to consider or they are meaningless.

The junior senator from Illinois is looking more and more like a General Election loser. This will motivate the super delegates to do what they were empowered to do – to serve as a safety mechanism to head off the nomination of an unelectable candidate. There role has never been to rubber stamp the candidates with the most votes.

Keep in mind that the super delegates are only important when the race is extremely close. While one candidate may have a majority of votes or delegates, the margin is so small as to make it politically meaningless. At this rate, neither candidate will go to the convention with a clear mandate. It will be up to the power brokers to figure out who the best nominee will be. Electablity is the only issue. Maybe that is not the most democratic resolution, but it is the best option they have.

FOOTNOTE: Some have suggested that I am one of those conservatives pumping for Hillary as the most beatable candidate. Not so. In fact, I have stated in previous blogs my opinion that Obama is by far the more beatable candidate.

>REACT: Obama and the religious Wright

>The sound you hear is the hot air escaping from the Barack Obama’s presidential balloon as it descends to earth.

I hate to be an I-told-you-so, but … Why do we always say that? Actually, I’m grinning from ear to ear. I love being I-told-you-so. Who doesn’t?

So, here it is.

Long before the Obama’s religious mentor, Reverend Jeremiah Wright, ignited the ammo dump of racial politics, I predicted that the “racial thing” would sink Obama – if not for the nomination, certainly for the general election. (Check out my blog items on South Carolina Mississippi … and the campaign in general.)

Keep in mind that it was Obama who first pulled the switch that sent his campaign train, the Unifer Express, off the main line and onto the African American Limited sidetrack. The beginning of the end for Obama came when he decided to run as the candidate of black aspirations in South Carolina, were the African American bloc represented about half of the primary voters. Prior to that, Obama was pulling 50 to 70 percent of black voters — not enough to win in future primaries.

To get the needed 80 to 90 percent majorities to carry him over the top in places like South Carolina and Mississippi, and give him a greater share of distributed delegates in places like Texas, he had to offer himself as the black political messiah. It worked. His subsequent victories resulted from overwhelming black turnout and vote.

Bill Clinton was not wrong in comparing Obama’s South Carolina victory to those of Jesse Jackson in 1984 and 1988. It was a demographic inevitability based on racial politics. So long as Obama made it a black crusade, he could command the lead in the Democrat primaries, where black votes enjoy a disproportionate advantage.

In high school science, we learned that “for every action there is an opposite but equal reaction.” This applies to politics, too. As Obama solidified black support for his candidacy, he created a countervailing coalition of wary whites. In invoking ethnic solidarity among his adopted people, he naturally provoked solidarity among his other people. Though half white and half black, Obama chose to be a black candidate for all the obvious reasons. Geraldine Ferrarro was not wrong either.

Obama’s introduction of racial politics showed in the numbers. For the big gain in the black vote, he was suddenly losing 75-plus of the white vote in many key states. His hope of increasing his percentage with the Hispanics also was dashed by his Afrocentric campaign. That may have cost him a clear win in Texas. As time went by, racial polarization became more of a factor. That trend continues.

Though Obama first played the racial card, the Clinton campaign saw their opportunity on the white side of the racial divide. Clinton matched the racial card with the surrogate comments of Bill Clinton, Geraldine Ferrarro and others, but they did not trump it. The advantage was still Obama’s. He was taking a calculated risk, and so far the calculus looked good. His zigzag racial strategy was working, with gains outpacing loses. But then, the joker turned up in the person of Reverend Jeremiah Wright, Obama’s long-time pastor, close friend and self-proclaimed religions mentor.

At a time when Obama was trying to deflect suspicions of radical Muslimism lurking behind his Harvard-bred image, he was more than eager to brag of his strong ties to the Christian United Trinity Church of Christ and his close relationship with Pastor Wright. For more than 20 years, the Obama family had been among the congregants. Barak and Michelle were married at Trinity by Pastor Wright. The Obama children were baptized there. He attended regularly, and supported the church with is donations. In more recent years, Obama was among the church’s most prominent attendees. Obama titled his book, The Audacity of Hope, after the sermonic themes of Pastor Wright. Though perhaps less appropriate, it was a better title for a presidential campaign than “God Damn America.” He offered up Pastor Wright to the public as part of his campaign network of informal advisors. Obama was the first Democrat presidential candidate to wear his religion on his sleeve, refusing to let the right-wing lay exclusive claim to God.

Now however, Pastor Wright’s well-publicized racist, anti-Semitic and anti-American rantings — and his endorsement and honoring of Nation of Islam black supremis Louis Farrakhan — have inflicted a body blow to the Obama campaign. In a matter of days, Obama shifted from a tacit defense of Wright to outright repudiation. This has put Obama at odds with his church members, who accuse the press of character assassination. Apparently, Obama has joined the assassins out of necessity.

Beyond the bounds of credibility, Obama claims to have never … repeat “never” … heard such rhetoric when he was in attendance. Not once in 20 years. (Why does that sound like, “I never once had sex with that woman?”) Sounding a bit like an old school marm, the senator claims that had he heard such hateful rhetoric from the pulpit, he would have talked to Pastor Wright to express his disapproval. Tsk! Tsk!

Lincoln once said that “widely held beliefs, whether will or ill founded, have the impact of fact.” For Obama, this means his excuses cannot dissuade the public from a now widely held belief that he is … lying. For the first time his denial lacks plausibility.

In attempt to bridge the racial gap, Obama sites the racism of his grandmother – calling it white “inbred” racism. Well, that sure backfired. Now a lot of non-racist white folks are highly insulted. The accusation of pandemic inbred racism among whites sounds like black paranoia and an affirmation of deep seeded racism on the part of Obama. Sounds like something Pastor Wright might have bellowed from the pulpit – but of course, Obama would not have been there to hear it.

One way to execute damage control is to inflict some of the same damage on the opponent. So, the Obama folks dropped a photo of Pastor Wright standing with President Clinton for one of those get-in-line photo ops. How pathetic. Rather than expose the Clintons with this sophomoric stunt, Obama exposed the beads of desperation sweat on his political brow. His handlers are smart enough to know that their candidate could be marching to the convention with an already inflicted mortal wound. This is just the kind of situation that argues for the super delegates to exercise independent judgment at the time of the convention.

None of this will have much impact on the black vote. He is their guy. It does, however, continue affect white voter thinking. Obama is no longer the post-racial unifer. Having dodged the less credible case of being a stealth Manchurian candidate for radical Muslimism, he now appears to be more credibly pegged as a latent adherent of black racist theology. Furthermore, his tenuous hold on the largely liberal Democrat Jewish vote is being undone by Pastor Wright’s anti-Semitic homilies. Suddenly, Michelle Obama’s statement that she was never proud of America in the past takes on a more ominous meaning.

As he did with the Rezko affair, Obama sought to use a public relations platform to purge the demons of negative public opinion with a grand statement of conscience – a speech. This was his latest moment to “come clean.” While his supporters have branded his oration in Philadelphia as seminal, and the liberal press touts his success in rising above the racial muck, polls suggest that most Americans are less awed..

No one would question Obama’s speechifying talent. His racial manifesto was well written and well presented. An A+ in any speech class. The only problem, it did not stem the flow of white voters into the Clinton camp — and to the McCain camp, if Obama should turn out to be the candidate. It seems to me that the amount of exuberant praise the speech is receiving from his supporters reveals the fear more than the joy. I think they doth praise too much.

Whatever assurances are offered up, it is clear that THE speech did not bring the Pastor Wright problem to closure. Clinton will be necessarily restrained in taking advantage of Obama’s religious crisis, and the issue may ebb between now and the convention. But rest assured, the church affiliation brouhaha will have its effect, and you can bet it will be played out again before November. Already, it is on endless loop on the Internet.

And don’t you have the feeling that one of these days there will be yet another nasty revelation involving Pastor Wright?